Airline Snippets

Cebu Pacific: likely to hit 19 million passengers (18.4 million passengers in 2015) flown for 2016.

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Philippine Airlines: approximately 13.5 million passengers flown for 2016.

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Sangley Airport: All-Asia Resources and Reclamation Corporation proposed to develop Sangley Point into an integrated international airport and seaport economic-industrial zone called Philippine Global gateway. The consortium of (Henry) Sy and Tieng families allotted 1.3 trillion pesos for this project.


Clark Int’l Airport Holds Key for PH to Reap Rewards of Ballooning Air Traffic


Developing the Clark International Airport as a premier global gateway is a shared responsibility—meaning there should be concerted efforts and coordination between the government and the private sector—as its success would mean the decongestion of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), a development that would be felt across sectors.

Aside from developing land transportation, developing a new runway and building support infrastructure, government agencies must also open satellite offices near the area to make the processing of travel documents for overseas Filipino workers faster.

“Most of the passengers [who] fly out of Clark are overseas workers. We wanted the support of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration for them to have satellite offices here at Clark,” Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) President Emigdio P. Tanjuatco III said.

Cebu Pacific Spokesman Paterno S. Mantaring agreed, saying that this takes away the pain of traveling to Manila that passengers from the North have to experience just to process their papers.

“Relevant agencies have also discussed the need to establish a one-stop government center in Clark, to provide easy access to basic government services for air passengers, especially overseas Filipino workers,” he said.

Mantaring added: “This will ensure that passengers departing out of Clark would be able to secure all necessary requirements or permits for domestic or international travel without delay, while guests arriving in Clark for business or leisure would be able to continue with their onward flights, i.e., via Manila, at the soonest possible time.”

‘No cure for NAIA’

Local carriers must also be willing to give Clark a second chance, as this would eventually entice passengers to use the airport and fill the gap between the supply and demand.

To do this, the government may dangle incentives to airlines that are willing and able to move out from the NAIA to Clark.

“Clark can accommodate at least an additional 100 weekly flights today, which can double every year and handle all flight frequencies in five years in a phased transfer of international flights during the period. The airport and transport authorities can mandate this in an official air-transportation policy that they may enunciate. Although they need much political will to do it,” said Avelino L. Zapanta, an aviation expert . “They can dangle incentives to the first airlines to volunteer to transfer.  Many would soon be willing to transfer anyway rather than not be able to expand services in Manila.”

The five-year phased transfer will require at least six things, he added.

“Clark needs a fourth terminal, the one they have already in blueprint that can handle 80 million passengers a year, which will make Clark an aerotropolis; a third one for low-cost carriers had been approved and is supposed to commence construction in 2016,” he said.

He added that the airport needs a third runway at the opposite side of the aerodrome to allow simultaneous take-off and landing of wide-body aircraft, and also to allow the Airbus A380s to operate there. The third requirement is the construction of a high-speed railway line that will connect Clark and NAIA to allow for connecting flights.

“Fourth is to encourage the operation of helicopter city hopper to connect Clark, particularly with Metro Manila, so that high-end passengers would have an alternative faster transfer service; business executives can even be arranged to land on top of the high-rise building they’d go to in the central business districts,” Zapanta said.

The last two are the establishment of terminals for buses, rent-a-car services, and limousine transfers; and the strengthening of domestic-to-international transfer services.

“Whether we like it or not, Clark will become an international gateway because there is no cure for the congestion of NAIA except Clark,” he said.

Building high-speed railway

Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio A. Abaya said these recommendations are currently being looked at by his agency. The general direction for Clark, according to him, is for the government to improve its capacity to accommodate further growth.

“The National Economic and Development Authority Board approved the Clark International Airport New Passenger Terminal Building Project last September. Right now, we are about to bid out the detailed engineering design for the development of this passenger terminal building. This project is part of the Clark master plan, which was developed by Aéroports de Paris,” he said.

The new terminal will be done in three phases: the first phase will have an annual passenger capacity of 3 million. It will then be increased to 5 million during the second phase, and eventually to 8 million in the final phase.

Abaya added that the government is also trying to address the need for faster connectivity by constructing a high-speed railway that will connect the northern and southern Luzon.

“In terms of accessibility, there is a long-term plan to extend railway operations in the north through the North-South Rail Project. Phase 1 will be the P171-billion Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)-Official Development Assistance project that will connect Metro Manila to Malolos in Bulacan; and Phase 2 will be handled by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority that will connect Malolos to Clark International Airport,” he said.

This, however, will come only in the next five years, according to a timeline provided by Abaya’s office.

Clark vs Sangley

While Clark has been perceived as a Band-Aid solution for Naia’s woes, the development of a new airport based in Sangley Point in Cavite is seen as the long-term answer to the chronic mess at Manila’s main gateway.

The transportation department recently received a pre-feasibility study from the JICA that lists the possible locations of the new airport. The study pinpointed two Cavite-based locations, called Sangley 1A and 1B. As to the official location that will be endorsed by JICA, the transport chief can only speculate.

Whichever the site will be, the statesman noted, however, his camp will be forwarding it to the country’s chief economic-planning body, the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) Board.

Sangley 1A is in the same site as the naval station in Cavite. The other one is near the central Manila Bay, between the military base and a reclaimed area.

The first option will cost both the government and a private-sector partner less than the second choice. The first one only costs $10 billion, while the other is pegged at around $13 billion.

The future airport will boast of four runways, which can handle 700,000 aircraft movements per year. It will have a rated capacity of 130 million passengers annually.

The deal is expected to be implemented under the government’s key infrastructure program, mixed with funding from official development assistance. Commercial operations of the new air hub should start by 2025, just about 10 years from now.

“Sangley came up only with Abaya apparently because it is in his district in Cavite. Clark has always been the subject of development since Fidel V. Ramos’s time. I prefer Clark. Sangley’s reclamation need is huge and will impede commercial shipping traffic in/out Manila Bay, among many other disadvantages,” Zapanta said.

Philippine Airlines President Jaime J. Bautista added that given the amount of time that the government needs to construct a new airport, it is but wiser to consider Clark first before Sangley.

“Sangley is a good plan. But it will take time, right? It will take about 10 years to 15 years to be completed. In the meantime, let’s fix Clark first,” he said.

For his part, Cebu Pacific’s Mantaring said his camp is more excited with the soon-to-be-built Sangley Airport.

“To cater to travelers used to Manila, it would be ideal to develop a new airport closer to the capital city, while forging ahead with the continuous development and improvement of NAIA. In particular, Cebu Pacific looks forward to the optimization of the NAIA runways with the development of rapid exit taxiways, which will allow up to two more aircraft movements per hour and significantly reduce consequential flight delays,” he said.

He added: “Cebu Pacific also highly anticipates the commencement of air-traffic navigation services from British firm Nats Services Ltd., which aim to boost hourly air-traffic movements to 60 from its current 40 limit. NAIA and Sangley Point remain more accessible to travelers from Manila, and would greatly benefit from the government’s proposed expansion projects.”

Triple airport strategy

American Chamber of Commerce Senior Advisor John D. Forbes and European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines External Vice President Henry J. Schumacher both agreed that developing Clark instead of Sangley is the best option for the Philippines.

“We support the dual-airport policy. Clark has been marginalized for two decades. With NAIA now at capacity, the government must be more serious about using Clark,” Forbes said. “Sangley and any other NAIA replacement is unlikely for 15 years. Unless Clark and other international airports are used more, tourist arrivals cannot meet targets.” The dual-airport strategy calls for the simultaneous development of both Clark and NAIA.

“We support the dual-airport strategy. We believe budget flight, including part of Cebu Pacific, should be moved to Clark. This will require a fast transit bus or rail system. If it will work on Edsa from Quezon City to Makati, the bus transit could be extended to Clark,” Schumacher said.

But for Philippines AirAsia President Joy D. Cañeba, there is no reason for the government not to develop both airports at once.

“Clark is already a viable airport. Let’s develop this first; but there is no reason for us to develop only one or two major airports as the demand for air travel has grown exponentially and the growth is forecast to continue with increasing low-cost airline operations and the expanding middle class and the Philippines is losing opportunities if we do not start building, expanding and improving airports now,” she said.

The transport chief, for his part, said the government will be keen on developing all three airports to reap the benefits of the ballooning domestic and international traffic volumes.

“The government is developing Clark and is, likewise, going to develop a new Manila international airport. The short- to medium- term plan is to develop NAIA via public-private partnership to expand its capacity in order to meet projected throughput until 2037, which is estimated at 51.4 million passengers per annum. The proposal is for a 15- to 20-year concession under an operate-rehabilitate-add-transfer scheme at an estimated cost of over P120 billion,” he said.

This project, expected to be completed by 2017, is still for the approval of the Neda Board.

“We are developing Clark by building a new passenger terminal building, which will eventually increase its capacity to 8 million passengers annually. In the long term, JICA is finishing its site-location study on the new Manila International Airport,” he said.

But with all these only expected to be completed in a matter of decades, the Philippines will continue to lose its potential passengers to its neighbors in the region.

SOURCE: Lorenz S. Marasigan,

It’s Final: Sangley Point For Philippines’ New Main Airport – JICA

Sangley Point In Cavite could be the location of a new long-term international airport to replace Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), according to a recommendation made by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). In a statement, Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said JICA formally recommended Sangley Airport in a presentation last June 13. Abaya said JICA will now start a feasibility study that may lead to the opening of a new main gateway in Sangley Point by 2025. “The DOTC, meanwhile, will still have to present the long-term gateway options to the President for approval, including the final location of Manila’s new gateway, as well as the fate of NAIA once a new airport is built,” he added. The country is pressed to find a new main gateway as NAIA already services 30 million passengers a year – just two million shy of its 32-million capacity.

Sangley Point is a former US Navy base in southwestern Cavite province, which is just 20 minutes away from Makati City.
Apart from the former naval base, JICA was earlier looking at an island in Laguna de Bay as a possible site for the new international gateway replacing NAIA, GMA News’ “State of the Nation” reported last March.

Both locations would be costly as they entail massive reclamation to build a new airport on a 2,000 hectare land, according to the Department of Transportation and Communications.
In a separate proposal, Ramon Ang, president and COO of diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp., met with President Benigno Aquino III and presented a $10-billion proposal for a new gateway.
The proposed airport will be located in a 1,600-hectare property owned by Cyber Bay Corp., straddling the cities of Las Piñas and Parañaque along the Manila-Cavite Expressway (Cavitex).
Ang co-chairs Cyber Bay, a company with interests in real estate development – except real estate subdivision – and reclamation.

OPINION: Clark International Airport As A Viable Entity



Author: Jose Ma. J. Fernandez,

WE have been treated recently to an ongoing see-saw battle to create a new airport to service Metro Manila and environs. Giant conglomerate San Miguel and its chief honcho Ramon Ang have been trying to invest in an airport project, perhaps spurred on by their having invested in the country’s original flag carrier, Philippine Air Lines. In a move typical of the conglomerate and its chief executive, they have zeroed in on developing the original now-defunct area where Amari and its local partner wanted to reclaim and establish a commercial area in front of Parañaque and Las Piñas. This move is premised on their being able to get the nod and attention of Department of Transportation and Communications, especially since the big boss, P-Noy, is usually inclined toward bidding out projects, including this prime undertaking of the international airport.

Militating against the intended location sought by San Miguel is the Japan International Cooperation study that examined several locations to determine the best possible place for an international airport. In this study, the other likely location near the Metro area that looked likely was Sangley, albeit not in the form it is in today. A lot of reclamation work has to be done to make the site viable. The study also indicated that a twin airport system is best for the country, much like the twin or treble airport systems that exist in many countries these days. Given the very crowded situation in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) these days, it makes sense for the other airport, namely Clark, to be a focal point for further development.

While the big boys battle it out for the location of the Metro airport—between Sangley and the San Miguel chosen area closer to the existing Naia—it is pretty clear that Naia itself will probably be closed down and commercial flights transferred to the new airport. What may remain may simply be executive and business aircraft plus some cargo operations. In this way, Naia will become yet another real-estate play, as some 60 percent of its current area will be freed up for commercial development, adding to the malls and condominiums that are fast dotting the cityscape.

Meanwhile, Clark International Airport has determined that, for the next five or so years, it will try and capture the 40 percent of Naia flyers who come from the Central and Northern Luzon areas. There remains a lack of proper marketing and consciousness programs, those that will make these potential flyers aware of Clark and the availability of flights. A typical chicken and egg situation exists. The airlines would probably detail more aircraft and create more flights if they are assured that more passengers would fly in them. This problem is being looked into right now.

The existing terminal has been expanded and is now looking spanking new, with air conditioners working as they should. New amenities are coming in, such as a new building to be constructed by a private party in front of the terminal, to house restaurants and shopping facilities that the meeters-greeters-send offs can avail themselves of instead of crowding into the current area. This building will connect through a bridgeway to the main terminal.

Meanwhile, a team commissioned by Aeroport de Paris has completed the initial phase of a new terminal that will be the starting point of a modular airport terminal that will eventually serve from 50 million to 80 million passengers. Both legacy and budget airlines will have their respective areas, but even these areas will be prepared to take on any change in traffic patterns. The modular design will allow for construction to be done as needs arise. Cargo and other facilities like Maintenance Repair & Overhaul and Fixed Base Operation will also be provided for in a separate area. The 2,300+ hectares of the Clark Aviation Complex will allow for two parallel main runways—one currently exists and is the only one that can take the Airbus 380s —and a slightly shorter dependent runway that can be used by the cargo airliners that are coming back to Clark and the remaining military and civilian rescue and logistical operations that need space and a large runway.

The initial phase for the proposed Terminal 2 in Clark is slated to start in the coming year, with construction of the terminal itself and the apron and other facilities likely to pave the way. Simultaneously, areas for the MROs and FBOs will be developed, much like the one that SIA has with its huge hangars that will service any plane in their fleet of Airbus 319/320s, 380s and the Boeing 777s.

Sometime in the near future, when the time is right, proposals will be entertained for the train connection between Metro and Clark/Subic. In fact, some quarters have proposed that the connections be from port to port, i.e., Batangas to Manila to Clark to Subic. Both cargo and passengers will be ferried to make the project viable.

Clark is not a dream, and is not initially dependent on a railway as many people think. But for those from the Metro area who wish to fly out of Clark, the next couple of years should see the completion of the two connector roads that will allow people from the South to travel to the North seamlessly. Thus, Alabang to Nlex should take some 30 minutes to 40 minutes, and an additional one hour for the Nlex leg to Clark. That is how long it takes to traverse Edsa on a regular day!

Presently, some bus companies have set up a regular shuttle from TriNoma to Clark and back that will allow for quicker dedicated travel.

The future of the Clark area is interesting as it takes on its destiny of an Aerotropolis, a metropolitan area built around an airport. The planned Green City that will start at about 4,000 hectares but which can be ramped up to over 40,000 hectares to 60,000 hectares promises to be a different kind of metropolis with wide boulevards, use of public mass transport like rail, biking and hiking lanes, urban forest zones, clean energy, and the banning of any polluting activity. Better yet is a nascent idea to make the Green City the administrative capital, leaving branches of the main government offices in Metro.

So, anyone who thinks the Clark International Airport has no future better think again.

Clark International Airport The Best Alternative To NAIA, Says Economist

Among the three alternative locations for a new gateway, Clark International Airport is the most feasible to replace the congested and outmoded Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), which was built in 1981.
At this point, expanding Clark International Airport would be the most feasible given the existing facilities there, Alvin Ang, a professor at Ateneo de Manila University’ Economics Department, told GMA News Online on Tuesday.
“Kaunting development na lang ang kailangan,” he said.
The 33-year-old NAIA is now processing 30 million passengers a year or two million shy of its 32-million capacity.
In anticipation of a three-fold increase in passengers by 2040, the Department of Transportation and Communications in November 2013 identified two feasible options: to expand and upgrade Clark International or build a completely new gateway facility 20 to 30 minutes away from Metro Manila.
French airport operator Aeroports de Paris is doing a feasibility study on a master plan and design for a P7.2-billion budget terminal that will expand passenger capacity of Clark International to 15 million a year from its current 5 million.
“In other countries, international airports are located outside of the capital for less costs on getting right of way,” Ang said.
Determining which the best location for the new gateway entails a good analysis of cost and benefits of the alternative areas, the economist said.
“The cost is important at dapat mas maraming benefits, like accessibility, income for government, affordability and more people, goods and services will be moved,” Ang said.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) formally recommended Sangley Point in Cavite as the location of a new international airport to replace the congested NAIA in a presentation last June 13.
The good thing about Sangley Point is it was a former base, Ang said.
“May airport na doon, but you need roads or train to access it,” he said, noting this will require government to shell out money to buy the necessary right-of-way.
Sangley Point is a former US Navy base in southwestern Cavite province, 20 minutes away from Makati City.
Last month, Ramon Ang, president and COO of diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp., made a separate proposal to President Benigno Aquino III for a $10-billion airport.
The proposed airport will be located in a 1,600-hectare property owned by Cyber Bay Corp., straddling the cities of Las Piñas and Parañaque along the Manila-Cavite Expressway (Cavitex).
However, the economist said San Miguel’s proposal is quite expensive as the project would need to reclaim more land and spend more for right-of-way to accommodate the road infrastructure.
“Marami na ang nakatira sa Las Piñas at Parañaque kaya mahirap din kumuha ng right-of-way,” Ang said.
“Pero kung hindi government ang gagastos, it’s okay,” he added.
The expansion of Clark International Airport will benefit a new sprouting metropolis, Clark Green City, of state-run Bases Conversion and Development Authority.
Clark Green City, which covers 40,000 hectares that encompasses the Clark Freeport and Special Economic Zone, will be developed as a destination for investors.
The master plan for Clark Green City was approved by the National Economic and Development Authority NEDA board on May 30.

DOTC Study Recommends Sangley Point As Location Of New International Airport


MANILA – A study commissioned by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) has recommended building an alternative to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) at a former U.S. airbase in Cavite province.

According to DOTC, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) last Friday presented its recommendation for a new international airport at the Sangley Point.

“It will now begin working on a feasibility study, with the aim of inaugurating a new main airport by 2025,” DOTC said.

The department said JICA’s study has yet to be presented to President Benigno Aquino III. The government wants to build a new international gateway that is 25-30 minutes away from NAIA, which will reach its full capacity as early as 2018.

DOTC, whose head Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya is a politician from Cavite, had been looking at either Sangley Point or Clark, another former US airbase that has since been transformed into an economic zone. Most airlines fly out of NAIA, with less than 10 operating from Clark in Pampanga province.

Available data from DOTC show that NAIA aircraft movements – defined as takeoffs and landings – went up to 255,000 in 2011 from 171,000 in 2006.
 At the same time, the fleet of commercial airlines using NAIA doubled to 119 from only 62 in 2008. These aircraft serviced 30 million passengers last year, up from 18 million in 2006.

Earlier, San Miguel Corp (SMC) proposed to build a new international airport at a reclaimed area along the Manila-Cavite Coastal Road at a cost of $10 billion.

San Miguel’s proposed airport, which would be pursued as a build-operate-transfer (BOT) project, would be located on 1,600 hectares of newly-reclaimed land and would be separated from adjacent areas by a drainage channel.

The airport layout is based on an international and domestic passenger handling capacity of 75 million passengers per year, with scalability to cater to more than 100 million a year. A separate passenger terminal facilities are planned for full-service and low-cost airlines. The terminals will have up to 164 contact gates serviced by protected passenger boarding bridges and walkways.

Once built, the new airport can accommodate all international and domestic operations at the NAIA. International and domestic operations will be co-located allowing for more convenient international-domestic connect times.

The new airport would be only 11 minutes away from the Makati central business district via a new airport expressway rail service.
 The proposed airport expressway would be 15-kilometers long, providing quick access to Fort Bonifacio, Ortigas and Eastwood as well as an alternative route to Makati.

SMC has a 49 percent stake in Philippine Airlines Inc (PAL), which the food-and-beverage conglomerate acquired from tycoon Lucio Tan, who still holds the remaining 51 percent of the flag carrier.

Source: Darwin G. Amojelar,


San Miguel Corp. To Propose $10-Billion Manila Airport

Terminal 2 of Ninoy Aquino International Airport, home of Philippine Airlines

San Miguel Corp (SMC.PS), the Philippines’ most diversified conglomerate, is planning to present a proposal to the government soon for a new $10 billion airport in the capital, its president said on Tuesday.

Ramon Ang confirmed a Nikkei report that the company was set to present its plan for an alternative international airport in Manila next month. He confirmed the report in a text message to Reuters.

The group, which also owns a portion of flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL.PS), announced last year its intention to build a new facility to replace the ageing airport currently in used. It delayed the plan pending questions on state policy on airline companies operating airports.

(Reporting by Rosemarie Francisco; Editing by Paul Tait)

LAGUNA or CAVITE: New Site for International Airport

The old Sangley Point, the future site of Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

MANILA, Philippines – The government is considering Sangley Point, a former US Naval base in Cavite, and Laguna de Bay, as possible sites for a new international airport that will replace the old and congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

The two locations were cited by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which is conducting a “site selection study” for the new airport, according to Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya.

“Our initial feedback is that they are looking at Sangley because it is within the 20-minute parameter and is accessible. One could also be… Laguna de Bay,” Abaya stressed.

The government prepared an airport roadmap until 2040 that calls for the creation of a new international gateway that should be “within 20 to 30 minutes of Metro Manila” and operational by 2027. (READ: Another in’tl airport near Metro Manila)

Abaya noted in both Sangley Point and Laguna de Bay, massive reclamation will be done because the new airport requires at least 2,000 hectares.

He said “it is very difficult to look for a place that big” 20 minutes away from Metro Manila.

Abaya said the project could be undertaken through the Public-Private Partnership program. He said unsolicited proposals “won’t happen.”

JICA projected airline passengers from the capital and nearby provinces will hit over 106 million by 2040 and a new airport is needed to accommodate the volume.

Abaya said the government is considering closing NAIA by 2030, with the new airport serving 78% of the passenger volume and the Clark International Airport in Pampanga taking care of the rest.

He said another option is to allow NAIA to coexist with Clark and the new airport.

Before anything is firmed up however, the government is working on expanding the capacities of Clark and NAIA.

Some 6,000 square meters were added to the existing passenger terminal building in Clark, and a new 45,000-sqm low-cost carrier terminal will be built there.

In NAIA, terminals 1 and 3 are being rehabilitated. (READ: Gov’t on NAIA rehab: Be patient).